Edge Computing and the evolving Cloud IoT landscape

cloud IoT

2018 Thales Data Threat Report, Global Edition, issued in conjunction with analyst firm 451 Research, states that 94 percent of organizations are using cloud, IoT and other transformative technologies.  Many companies have adopted a “cloud first” strategy for software and infrastructure, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is now going to create a new momentum around Cloud with more devices added on the network requiring real-time analytics.

Meanwhile, Edge Computing is gaining prominence in the IoT landscape. IDC has estimated that by 2020, 10 percent of the world’s data will be processed on the Edge. The Edge refers to the place where the IoT connects the cloud and the physical world. Edge Computing is especially used for highly secure or mission critical data that needs to be processed in real time. While cloud computing is a more general-purpose platform that also works with systems in the old client/server model, edge computing is for purpose-built systems with special needs.

IoT allows businesses to be smarter with real-time operations while reducing operating costs. It also integrates machines with sensors and video cameras that help monitor workplace to ensure equipment safety and protect against physical threats. The incorporation of IoT and cloud, however, ensures that the collected data is being controlled so the traffic is not crossing the capacity limits.  In this evolving IoT marketplace, Cloud IoT services help reap more value for businesses. Hence, IT industry pioneers are executing new ideas of connecting things and the internet to deliver new services to the market.

SAP, for example, has been investing in IT technologies, primarily designing and delivering them within their cloud platform. SAP Cloud Platform IoT is the dedicated service that looks after all aspects concerning management of devices, protocol, data acquisition, etc. The service is also intended to assist companies to integrate IoT strategies and services with their current platform service and to handle the vast volumes of data IoT can generate and are normally challenging to cope with.

SAP also offers the IoT Gateway EDGE cloud computing which has the ability to decide how data should be transmitted to the cloud. EDGE can also lead to reduced payloads into the cloud and enhance Real-Time service to experience IoT in the Cloud platform.

Recently Google integrated FogHorn Systems Lightning edge analytics with Google Cloud IoT core, with the aim of simplifying the deployment of industrial IoT scenarios. Google’s Cloud IoT Core is an IoT sensor service for managing IoT devices, connecting them, and ingesting IoT-based information. By incorporating FogHorn, the data collected can now be spread to the edge of IoT networks, improving visibility into the factory floor, supply chains, and can be used for machine learning systems and communication.

During the same period, rival IBM Cloud, which creates enterprise virtual assistants to transform customer service, debut Watson Assistant. With this innovation, IBM will allow companies to customize it with their own brand voice, specific uses and deploy it in a variety of connected devices. Watson Assistant can be integrated into any device from cars to hotel rooms, offering real-time, continuous learning about user’s behaviors. This might take the form of a virtual assistant in a smartphone app, or real-time service on machinery.

IBM also partnered with AirWire Technologies to implement connected cars and IoT services platform powered by IBM Connected Vehicle Insights. AirWire’s connected car cloud services will work in conjunction with the IBM Cloud platform to provide uninterrupted connectivity through an advanced 4G LTE network. This will upload important vehicle data to the cloud for analysis which then enables apps and services through consumer’s mobile devices.

According to Variant Market Research, the global IoT market is estimated to reach nearly $1.6 trillion by 2024, up from $346 billion in 2016. With the major cloud services providers such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud entering the IoT foray, the developers of IoT platforms and solutions are relying on the cloud as the primary connectivity enablement solution to bring forth the promise of IoT-enabled solutions.

The Eclipse Foundation’s fourth annual IoT developer survey found that 51.8 percent of developers cited AWS as their IoT cloud platform. Amazon’s growing dominance inside the IoT is because of its diversification into the market. With its dominance in Web services, and now in IoT development platforms, rivals such as Walmart and Google have a tough act to follow.

The report also shows that 31.2 percent of developers cited Microsoft Azure as their IoT cloud platform. Azure IoT provides a fully managed, secure and customized IoT application that is simple and helps companies get started easily. They also provide comprehensive portfolios and solutions to help create operational efficiencies, new revenue streams and better customer experiences.

Although Google’s Cloud Platform was just at 19 percent in terms of market share, on 1 March 2018, Google signed a cloud computing deal with Flex, an electronic manufacturing enterprise. The deal at $9.5 billion aims to provide a standard way for medical devices to move data to the internet for analysis. Flex recently unveiled BrightInsight, a platform to help healthcare device manufacturers combine their gadgets to the internet, relies on Google Cloud to extend that service.

Edge Computing appears as a natural extension of Cloud computing, in which the Cloud allows businesses to access IoT-based resources and capabilities, to manage intelligent pervasive environments. Research firm Gartner believes that, come 2020, over 65 percent of enterprises will have taken up IoT products. Businesses are sourcing a tremendous amount of data through IoT products and effectively utilizing machine learning as a solution for making this growth possible. However, for businesses to maximize the effectiveness of machine learning, they will need sufficient access to the cloud. The cloud IoT platform is built to take in the massive volumes of data generated by devices, sensors, websites, applications, customers and partners and initiate actions for real-time responses.

​Yadawanka Pala